Tips For Supporting Your Children’s Hobbies!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.
For children, hobbies are more than just a simple pastime – they actually play an integral role in their development. For example, they can help children to:
- Build confidence and self-esteem
- Develop meaningful friendships
- Explore their interests in safe and supportive environments
- Develop a range of useful life skills
- Better their mental health
- Improve their physical fitness
As a result, it’s important that as a parent, you support their participation in these hobbies in the same way you support their education. With that in mind, here are some tips you can follow to do exactly that!
Let them choose their extracurriculars.
As a parent, you may have a certain idea in mind of hobbies you think your child would enjoy or hobbies that they should participate in. However, it’s their time – and this means they should get to choose what activities they participate in.
Sit down with them and discuss their interests and help them figure out what options are available to them in your local area. For example, if they express an interest in storytelling and love putting on shows in your living room, you could enroll them in drama or acting classes!
Invest in the tools.
All hobbies require a little bit of investment, which means that you need to be prepared to spend a little money here and there to support your child and their creative dreams. Of course, you should not buy anything until your child has shown that they are committed to the activity for the sake of protecting your bank account.
However, if they have shown time and time again that this is something they really enjoy, then you should ensure they have all the tools at hand to achieve their goals.
For example, if they’ve been learning to play an instrument and want to make their own music, whether solo or with friends, you could buy a loop pedal from Looper Music. This will enable them to experiment with professional-level equipment and record their own music!
Ask them questions.
One of the easiest ways in which you can show your child that you are supportive of their hobbies is by simply asking them questions about it! Whenever they get back from a class or have spent some time working on their hobbies, ask them about how it went, or what they are working on. The more questions, the better!
This shows your child that you are just as excited and interested as they are, which can encourage them to persevere when things get hard. Furthermore, studies suggest that talking about things that interest us is a great bonding activity and can also do wonders for our mental health.
Be present at games, recitals, and more.
Whether your child plays soccer or the piano, you should always ensure you make time in your calendar to attend their various recitals and games. After all, this is a great way to show some support, especially if they are feeling a little nervous about performing in front of others.
However, seeing their parents in the audience (clapping and cheering) is a wonderful confidence-booster for children, who often try very hard to impress their parents. It also shows them that all of their hard work has paid off, and they are truly doing something great.
You should also be sure to discuss the game/recital on your way home, especially if they are upset about their performance. In this instance, you should let them know that everyone makes mistakes from time to time or focus on just how well they did and not the mistake they made.
Encourage them to practice.
Studies suggest that “it takes 10000 hours (or approximately 10 years) of deliberate practice” to become an expert at something, and while this should not be expected of children – for an obvious reason, it’s a great way to showcase just how much energy we should put into our hobbies if we want to succeed.
As a result, you should encourage your child to practice a few times a week. However, this should be framed as something positive. If they enjoy their hobby, they will likely want to practice. If they often seem reluctant, then it may be time to have a quick conversation with them to see whether or not they are still having fun.
If not, tell them that it’s perfectly okay to stop and find a new hobby. Hobbies, after all, are supposed to be something fun, not something they do because they feel as though they have too.
*This article is based on personal suggestions and/or experiences and is for informational purposes only. This should not be used as professional advice. Please consult a professional where applicable.